Select Translations from Old English Poetry

Select Translations from Old English Poetry

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Select Translations from Old English Poetry

Select Translations from Old English Poetry

Read FREE!

Excerpt

This book is addressed to those intelligent students of English literature, whether under tutelage or beyond it, who have not been quite willing to accept the statement that Chaucer was the father of our literature and the creator of our language, and who have yet not been able to gratify their curiosity as to what might lie beyond, by reason of their inability to read the tongue of our pre-Chaucerian ancestors. We are persuaded that there are many who are quite aware that Beowulf was not the author of the poem which bears his name, who yet are uncertain how that poem compares in diction, in imagery, in character-painting, in variety of interest, and in loftiness of sentiment, with the Iliad, the Æneid, or Paradise Lost. We are convinced that there are those who are too well instructed to call Caedmon and Cynewulf Seedmon and Sighneewolf who still have no clear conception as to the relation, whether in bulk or character, borne by the extant poetry of the one to that of the other. We feel sure that there are those who would prefer to appraise for themselves the qualities of our oldest literature rather than remain in helpless dependence upon the dry or rhapsodical estimates of the current writers upon the subject. So long as there are educated persons misled into imagining the missionaries . . .

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